Malignant dysphagia due to esophagogastric cancer is associated with poor overall prognosis.
Placements of self-expandable metal stents or plastic tubes are established methods as palliative treatment options.
As an alternative and/or complementary therapy, radiologic technique and locally endoscopic techniques are often used.
Dr Axel Eickhoff and colleagues conducted a retrospective trial of 153 patients treated in their department between 1993 and 2001.
The researchers reported that 45 patients in Group A received a plastic tube, and 108 patients in Group B were treated with metal stents.
Both groups were compared for improvement of dysphagia score, survival, recurrent dysphagia and complications.
| Median survival time after insertion was 78 days with the tubes and 113 days with the metal stents|
|Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology|
The research team found that stent placement was successful in 93% of patients of Group A and 99% of Group B.
The team noted that the median dysphagia score improved significantly in both groups.
Recurrent dysphagia was noted in 27% patients of Group A and 25% patients of Group B.
Median survival time after stent insertion was 78 days in Group A and 113 days in Group B.
The research team observed overall complications in 33% of patients in Group A and 26% of patients in Group B.
However, the team noted that there were significantly more major complications in Group A than in Group B.
Dr Eickhoff's team concluded, “Our results indicate a marginal clinical benefit for metal stents versus plastic tubes in malignant dysphagia in the long run.”
“However, metal stents seem to be safer and associated with a prolonged improvement of dysphagia score.”